New York Parks In Less Affluent Areas Lack Big Gifts

When Frederick J. Kress, who sits on the board of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy, heard about it, he had only one thought: What about us?

Flushing Meadows-Corona, which has been the setting for two World’s Fairs, is considerably larger than Central Park, at 1,225 acres, compared with 843. Last year, its conservancy attracted $5,000 in donations.

The park’s bicycle and walking paths are cracked and pitted, Mr. Kress said, and its natural areas are overgrown with invasive species.  “Central Park is doing pretty well,” said Mr. Kress, who is also president of the Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces, noting that though Mr. Paulson’s home on Fifth Avenue overlooks Central Park, he grew up in Queens.  “I’m not saying he owes anyone anything, but how about you give Central Park $98 million and Flushing Meadows-Corona $2 million?  That two million would have gone so much further in an underappreciated park.”

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Allyson Schwartz Nearly Certain To Face Corbett, insiders Say

English: Official congressional portrait of Co...

English: Official congressional portrait of Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz is all but certain to run for governor next year, buoyed by a $3.1 million campaign fund and a recent poll that showed her leading Gov. Corbett in a test matchup, according to several people familiar with the Montgomery County Democrat’s thinking.

The five-term House member from Jenkintown has been positioning herself for a gubernatorial run for a couple of months.

As evidence of her increasing prominence, the Pennsylvania GOP, in its statement last week responding to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, asked: “When will Allyson Schwartz present a serious plan to control spending?”

“She’s making all the phone calls, taking all the meetings you would do to run for governor, but I don’t think she’s made her final decision,” said Montgomery County Democratic Chairman Marcel Groen. He has estimated the chance of Schwartz’s running at better than 80 percent.

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New Pottstown Law Charges Fee To Owners Of Vacant Property

Editor’s note:  The only way this is worth the paper it’s printed on is IF it’s enforced.  The track record for enforcing ordinances in Pottstown is poor.  There are loitering ordinances on file but look at High Street.  “ZZ Top” and company lingering aimlessly around the clock tower, panhandlers, drop in center people hanging around etc…  Why not enforce the laws already on the books!  That would offer immediate improvement.

POTTSTOWN — With a 4-1 vote Monday, borough council adopted a new ordinance which requires the owners of vacant property to register those properties with the borough and to pay an escalating registration fee for each year the property remains vacant.

According to the ordinance, the owners of vacant property must not only register it, but secure it against illegal entry and even post a sign on the property, indicating the name, address and telephone number of the owner.

Starting Sept. 1, when the ordinance goes into effect, owners of vacant residential property must pay a $75 registration fee. If the property is vacant a year later, the registration fee is $125, and $175 the year after that. For every other subsequent year the property is vacant, the registration fee is $275.

Vacant multi-family dwellings will see their registration fee rise from $200 to $400 and industrial or commercial buildings smaller than 10,000 square feet have a first-time fee of $250 that rises to $450 by the fourth year.

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Retailers, Consumers Take Swipe At Credit Card Surcharge

English: Old Visa logo.

English: Old Visa logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charles Griesemer says there’s no way he would pay a fee to use his credit card at the gas pumps or in checkout lines, calling such a surcharge unfair.

“That would be ripping off the working man,” the Oley Township man said recently while gassing up his pickup truck. “I’d rather go to the bank and get cash.”

For those like Griesemer, who would balk at credit card fees, there is good and bad news.

The bad news is that credit card surcharges of up to 4 percent are now allowed on retail purchases in 40 states, thanks to a settlement retailers reached in July with MasterCard and Visa.

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